It’s official! The State Sport special license plate bill has been filed.
In March 2022, pickleball became the official state sport when Senate Bill 5615 was signed into law on Bainbridge Island. Soon after, the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) decided our state sport deserves a state license plate. Senator Lovick and the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association collaborated on a new bill, Senate Bill 5333, with Senator Lovick as the bill’s legislative sponsor and SMPA as the bill’s non-profit sponsor. SMPA submitted all the documents and signatures required by the Department of Licensing for this endeavor. The official signature launch began in September at Mariners Pickleball Night. With the help of volunteers and clubs throughout Washington, 3,855 signatures were obtained by December 2022.
The bill has not passed yet. It will be resubmitted for the 2024 legislative session and the SMPA needs your support. Contact your state legislators and let them know you want a pickleball license plate! Information about SB 5333, including status updates and the full text of the bill, is available on the Washington State Legislature website at leg.wa.gov. Proceeds from license plate sales will be used for the construction and maintenance of dedicated pickleball courts throughout Washington.
SMPA engaged four illustrators to create license plate designs. A poll let the public choose a favorite from eight. With over 50% of the vote, Pickleball Rising was the clear favorite. SMPA has submitted the proposed plate to the Department of Licensing for approval.
The winning design, Pickleball Rising, was created by Jason Laramie of Laramie Studio in Seattle. Laramie’s design was inspired by the ferry ride from Bainbridge Island, the birthplace of pickleball. The view is towards the east, where a pickleball rises like the sun over Washington State. Laramie is a Board Certified Medical Illustrator with twenty years of experience. He specializes in transforming complex information into engaging visuals for the medical field and jury trials. But he also likes to dabble in fun projects like ours and we are proud a local designed the plate.
Pickleball license plate fees will be similar to other specialty plates, $157 for a passenger vehicle, with a $30 renewal fee. Personalized plates will cost $209 with a $42 renewal fee. Celebrate the state sport by supporting our effort to pass this bill. SMPA hopes the plates will attract the attention needed to build more pickleball facilities in your community and throughout Washington.